Experience tells us that governance in member-owned co-operatives is distinct from that in investor-owned businesses, yet we do not understand fully how this operates in practice. The Governance of Large Co-operative Businesses, a research study by Prof. Johnston Birchall, helps to fill this gap.
It reviews the performance and governance structures of sixty of the world’s largest co-operative businesses, divided into the six sectors: agriculture and food; wholesale and retail; industry and utilities; health and social care; insurance; and banking. The research, sponsored by Co-operatives UK, highlights «how difficult the task of governance is depends not just on the size and complexity of an organisation, but also on who owns it». Chapter 6 is dedicated to health and social care and explains some examples of IHCO members.